It's established fact that working in the music industry brings with it its own set of unique challenges. "Can Music Make You Sick?", a study commissioned by charity Help Musicians UK earlier this year, clarified as much. So, in the wake of the study's results – and the tragic suicide of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, who had long lived with mental health issues – Help Musicians UK decided to do something practical.
Today, after a fundraising campaign, they're launching Music Minds Matter, a fully functioning mental health helpline especially for people working in the music industry. It'll allow people to access clinical help, and will also allow access to grant funding from Help Musicians UK, meaning it'll offer support for mental illness triggers like debt and money worries. It's the first service of its kind in the UK, and musicians like Nadine Shah are backing it all the way. She said:
"I would like to give my passionate, wholehearted support to Help Musicians UK and the new Music Minds Matter mental health service. The music industry is in such need of a service like this. It’s about time we had a service that is always there for people, one that really caters to the myriad of mental health challenges and complexities that musicians and people in the music industry face. As someone that has experienced struggles of my own, I know how important it is to know that I could access help and support when I need it. It means so much, thank you HMUK."
She's not wrong. The music industry can be a difficult place to navigate at the best of times, becoming almost impossible when you're dealing with mental illness. There's a sense that you have to be working constantly in order to succeed, and that said success is measured by other people. As a result, it's easy to fall into a cycle of burnout, self-doubt and stress, which can then trigger issues with anxiety and depression for so many in the business. Like many industries, the music world has prioritised results over wellbeing for too long. As such, a service like this – and the helpline already offered by charity Music Support – could do wonders for people who feel vulnerable and need to talk about their worries. Music Minds Matter offers proper, concrete support and options, and as a service it's completely groundbreaking. Find out more here or call the helpline from the UK on 0808 802 8008, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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